As we talked about during last week’s virtual “Successfully Selling in Uncertain & Difficult Times” webinar, lessons 1 & 2 that not only align with what buyers are thinking about but which also had a dramatic impact on our results last time around:
- It was vitally important to remove language from our messaging that painted a “discretionary” picture. The nice-to-have spending ship has already left the harbor.
- Instead, messaging had to be solely focused on cost reduction/risk reduction, which (counter-intuitively) was more impactful than on revenue growth. Short-term revenue growth is actually a nice-to-have right now, while the immediate #1 priority for all is runway extension.
We did discuss two other steps, too - practicing extreme empathy, and removing friction from the buying journey.
We didn’t talk about what comes next.
During a downturn, focusing your target list is incredibly important. Your escalated messaging will be more impactful on some verticals than others. Move those verticals to the top of your list.
For us, during the last downturn, we quickly found that our messaging really resonated in the aerospace & defense (A&D) vertical. While we could sell to really anyone in manufacturing, we prioritized A&D immediately.
The benefits of that extreme focus:
- It turned us into perceived experts: During times of uncertainty, confidence is contagious. Buyers need to know that you know your sh*t and can truly help them.
- It helped us qualify, diagnose and prescribe solutions more efficiently: Time is gold right now, and wasting your time or the buyer’s time is considerably more expensive in the current environment.
- It helped buyers buy: There’s no screwing around...they were able to more quickly and transparently understand how their specific issues could be addressed, with minimal buying friction and, perhaps most importantly, our expertise translated to their feeling that the risk to this purchase was lower.
While you can sell to anyone, your honed in focus and vertical prioritization is key right now. Buyers (like all human beings) making feeling decisions, and use logic to back it up. The benefit of extreme focus results in both - the feeling of confidence, the feeling of ease, the feeling of risk reduction, then coupled with all of the logical data specific to their world to help them with justification - to themselves, and the consensus buying group.
For fun: this woman may be taking the whole "focus" a little too far, eh?
Reach out if you need help...